Thanksgiving is just over a week away, and you know what that means — it’s Christmas season! The Christmas Muzak is playing in retail stores everywhere, lights are going up, and spruce trees are being chopped down by the millions. The minute your turkey gets cold it’ll be time to start counting down to the big day, and what better way to do that then with this beautiful ESP8266-based Advent calendar?
Dario Breitenstein built this Internet-Connected Advent Calendar to get the family into the Christmas spirit, and wanted it combine classy aesthetics with a geeky vibe. The body of the Advent calendar is constructed from a strip of walnut, and would look fantastic in any home. There are a total of 24 3D-printed PETG discs inlaid into the wood that light up to mark the days leading up to Christmas.
Those are lit with WS2812 NeoPixel-style RGB LEDs, with two behind each of the first 23 days and three behind the final day which gets a bigger disc. A Silhouette craft cutter was used to create vinyl screens for each disc that show the day number. The LEDs are controlled with an ESP8266 that is housed in a pocket routed into the backside of the bottom of the wood strip. The code to run it is the FastLED library and the NTPtimeESP library. Normal days are lit in white, Sundays in red, and Christmas Eve in purple. If you want to build your own, the code is available on GitHub.